Thirsting for relief from xerostomia?

2018-04-25 06:00

DRY mouth? If your mouth often feels sticky, or a cool glass of water doesn't take away your thirst, you may be suffering from dry mouth, a common medical condition, also known as xerostomia.

Dirna Grobbelaar, Ivohealth's Oral Hygiene Advisor, explains how to manage dry mouth and maintain good oral health.

Dry mouth can be caused by many diseases, including diabetes and
Sjogren's syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease. However, the most likely culprit is medication — over 400 prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines state dry mouth as a possible side-effect. This includes medication for allergies, asthma, colds, depression, epilepsy, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and urinary incontinence. It affects an estimated 20% of people, women and the elderly are most at risk.

Dry mouth or xerostomia simply means absent or reduced saliva. Healthy people produce an estimated 0.75 to 1.5 litres of saliva a day, 99% of which is water.

A lack of saliva can make swallowing and talking difficult and in severe cases dry mouth sufferers can become malnourished. Saliva is the body's way of keeping the mouth clean, so there are serious oral health implications for dry mouth sufferers.

Rather than ignoring dry mouth symptoms, consult your doctor for a diagnosis and schedule a check-up with your dental professional to help keep your mouth in good health.

• Issued on behalf of Ivohealth by Paula Wilson Media Consulting (PWMC)

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